How Safe and Practical is the Used E-Bike Market :

Rick53

Active Member
With Spring Approaching I can't help notice Good Sales on Last Years Models : As well as a fair amount of Used Ebikes for 1/2 or even 1/3 of the Price :

I'm wondering How many have purchased used E-bikes

Anyone been Screwed ?

I suppose it makes a difference where you live : In America E-bikes over all aren't that Popular. I would say of the People I speak to only 1 out of 5-6 that ride Bikes even know what an E-bike is .

Only 1-20 have even ridden one.

How much change has really happened in 3-4 years ?

I ask because I've been researching Bosch . Which seems to have made a Big Upgrade This Year : But What about Yamaha ,Shimano, Or Brose ? Seems not so much
 

PDXzap

Well-Known Member
Buying a used bike is as safe and practical as you make it. Buying a bike requires due diligence... buying a used one requires more due diligence.

If your knowledge about the particular bike you're interested in isn't great then you should arrange to take the bike to a mechanic or bike shop you trust before you purchase it.
If the party selling the bike, commercial or private, isn't comfortable with that then there is a good chance they are trying to hide some problem that they fear would hinder the sale.

I've never owned a new ebike but I don't feel as though I've ever been particularly "screwed".
 

CashMoney

New Member
I've bought two ebikes, both this year, one new and one used. The used one was sold by a family with two other ebikes of the same brand, and of course there is an odometer on the ebike so I know how much it was used. My only concern was the storage of the battery; I had to take their word for it.

I researched the ebike before I bought it, so I knew what to look for. Didn't take it to a mechanic as I do my own maintenance.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I purchased my first two Sondors eBikes off Craigslist. One was used but it had no display so no idea of the mileage, and second wasn't even completely assembled. 3rd eBike was a full suspension Haibike with 150 miles from a dealer with full factory warranty. 4th eBike was an old model year Haibike Trekking with 1.5 miles from the same dealer. No problems with any of them. Now buying a used bike with 5,000 miles is a different story. Just assume you'll need a new battery pack in that situation. Hurry up though, a lot of the great deals from dealers go away as the end of February gets closer. March is considered the start of bike selling for the new season.
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
Do your homework on those last year models on sale and see if it has the features that you are interested in. You don't want a bike that doesn't have what you want.

Used ebike is a totally different thing. Not recommended to people with minimal knowledge of ebikes.
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
A lot of it is battery. If you can check an odomter reading that helps, but after that it's pretty much the word of the seller as to how the battery was maintained.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Check out Bicycle Blue Book if you want a wide selection and a 30-day money back guarantee.

They also offer a value guide and take trade-ins... I have purchased 2 bikes from them with good results.


 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
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PDoz

Well-Known Member
How much change has really happened in 3-4 years ?

I ask because I've been researching Bosch . Which seems to have made a Big Upgrade This Year : But What about Yamaha ,Shimano, Or Brose ? Seems not so much
A lot depends on intended use, but there HAS been upgrades each year for the other brands. I'm go so far as to say that's why bosch seems to have made such a big jump - 3 years of catching up with the rest ?

Yamaha (+/- giant) improved their motor for 2020 with the introduction of gradient and accelration sensors to enable an " auto" mode, they also improved higher cadence performance and the motor is apparently quieter.

Brose have made several changes to try and improve longevity / waterproofing - if you read the uk mtb forums you would syspect they have only been party successful.

Your intended use will determine how important these changes are - eg if you ride hard core mtb and waterproofing is important then have a look at the new levo sl before being tempted by a discounted brose motored levo.....especially if it's second hand and approaching end of warranty!

Also, nit all manufacturers allow transfer of warranty across users ( giant doesn't ! )
 
I bought a lightly used Stromer and couldn't be happier. My recommendation to new buyers is to seriously consider the used market. You can get a bike less than a year old at half price. Just have to be patient and wait for the right deal.
 

jazz

Well-Known Member
I think the biggest part of it after assuring the bike components are in good condition is battery health - how old it was, how it was charged, stored which can be difficult to know etc., since that will be your biggest cost if you have to replace it soon. I bought a demo (last year's) BH ebike last year and the battery started to die within months. Luckily I still had the original BH factory warranty which replaced it free of charge saving me about $600
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Anytime we buy a used eBike I'd consider the cost of a new battery as possibly right around the corner. Unless you can add a wattmeter to the circuit and ride while monitoring, it's a crapshoot!
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
Many things can go wrong with a used ebike.

Battery will need replacement soon or immediately after purchase. Could cost anywhere from $300 to $800 depending on bike brand and battery size. Bosch battery is proprietary, you can't replace it with 3rd party battery and have to pay the dealer. Many other ebikes will take any battery that fits.

Motor may last several years more or could die next year, depends on mileage and type and brand of motor and how previous owner used it. If bike has an odometer, you could estimate how much longer it would last, but a lot depends on what the previous owner did with it. Besides, odometers can be reset ;). Some cheap bikes have no odometer.

And then, there could be major and minor issues that made the previous owner to get rid of the bike, ex. controller glitches and error codes (or he doesn't like the particular controller at all), water getting in the contacts and who knows what else.
 
I think it can be hard to find the right e-bike on the first try. Unlike buying a car, you can't test drive 10 bikes in a single weekend. Many bikes are only available online and you have to buy on faith. Sometimes it is (a very expensive) trial and error process. Also, some buyers just realize after purchase that their new toy is not getting used enough, or they just want a different toy. Not every used ebike has a sinister past.
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
Previous owner/seller doesn't have to be sinister, but he can be negligent and clueless - and many are :) ...
 

steve marino

Active Member
Your experiences are not my experiences. Nearly everyone I talk to is aware of eBikes here in the US, and if anyone lives in a college town or biking cities like Portland or Tucson, everyone sees eBikes on the roads regularly.

Buying a used eBike is no different than buying a used car, motorcycle or truck. If someone doesn't have a clue, then they should bring along a friend who does to ck everything out for them.
 
Some good deals, this 2019 Raleigh Detour iE reportedly has 0 miles on the odo,
My 2¢ and a single buyer data point: I bought a low mile Raleigh Misceo iE from Bicycle Blue Book (same seller as the Detour iE mentioned by Dewey). It checked out great on the test ride but I ended up faced with a motor replacement due to a faulty torque sensor that only showed up when I got it out on the hills around my home. BBB is a reputable business and offered to take the bike back for a full refund, but instead they gave me a modest discount and I repaired the bike. Most Craigslist sellers are going to sell as is / no returns. My story is here:


As for the Detour iE Dewey linked to, despite my frustrating experience with the Misceo purchase, I'm not entirely put off on buying used and was trying to push this very bike on my wife, but she was only luke-warm to it (until I told her it sold, and she said, "You should have just gone down and bought it!"). However, this same seller sells some used bikes with way too many miles / too many scuffs for too much money. I certainly couldn't imagine purchasing sight-unseen / unridden.
 

erider_61

Well-Known Member
The cost of a battery alone would make me shy away from a used ebike purchase. Plus I had a warranty claim that was processed quick. I don't believe there is real savings in buying used...
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I bought a low mile Raleigh Misceo iE from Bicycle Blue Book
Great to read feedback from a buyer, thanks for posting your buying experience, good the seller offered a full refund on your used purchase. Sorry you had a bad service experience with the now gone Motostrano, but reading your thread confirms what I suspected about Shimano Steps, I’ve noticed more mail order bike companies use Shimano motors this year eg BikesDirect and Ohm. Your experience suggests any Shimano Steps dealer ought to be able to service one of their motors, that would make me more confident as a buyer. Thanks again and glad your ebike now works.
 

Ebiker33

Active Member
Another consideration, do they have 2 batteries, I have 2 batteries that I am alternating for my Sondors so they are in good shape.